There has become as much intrigue surrounding the NBA offseason as there is about the regular season as we've seen a number of superstars change teams in recent years. Free agency is now a huge spectacle, and that will be the case again this year with a loaded class of available players and another salary cap increase, meaning that virtually every team will have cap space.
There are plenty of big names that are set to be unrestricted free agents, namely Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Chris Paul. However, all three are expected to sign with their respective teams. Which star players will actually be available? Here are the four biggest names that are the most likely to sign with a new team this summer:
Kyle Lowry, PG, Toronto Raptors
Lowry plans to opt out of his contract to become a free agent this offseason, which doesn't come as a surprise. By doing so, he is eligible to re-sign with the Raptors on a five-year max deal worth over $200 million. However, multiple reports indicate that Lowry plans to legitimately test the open market this summer and may leave Toronto. The Philadelphia 76ers have already said they will make a run at him, and with Lowry being a Philly native, they might be the favorite to land him.
Gordon Hayward, SF, Utah Jazz
Of all the players on this list, Hayward is the player I am least sure about changing teams. He has talked about how much he loves Utah on a few occasions since they were eliminated by the Warriors, but he's still deciding if he will opt out of his current contract or not. Utah's chances may hinge on if he makes an All-NBA team, which would allow them to offer him a more lucrative extension. If Hayward does decide to test the open market, the Boston Celtics will be looming thanks to Hayward's relationship with Brad Stevens.
Blake Griffin, PF, Los Angeles Clippers
Here's LA's problem - they still have never made the Western Conference Finals in franchise history. As such, there's a strong chance they do some form of "blowing it up" this offseason. Both Griffin and Chris Paul are set to be unrestricted free agents, and while the Clippers have said they would like to re-sign both, they probably won't. With the chance to acquire Carmelo Anthony and pair him with Paul (remember, they're great friends), Griffin seems to be the guy who most likely won't be back.
There's a chance Los Angeles could agree to a sign-and-trade with the Knicks, which would put him in New York with Porzingis. However, I don't think that will happen. They'll likely just let Griffin walk in free agency, where his hometown Oklahoma City Thunder will be the heavy favorites to sign him. The Miami Heat will also likely go after him.
RELATED: Blake Griffin Could Leave Clippers
Derrick Rose, PG, New York Knicks
Speaking of the Knicks and unrestricted free agents, we have Derrick Rose. Because of the major contract he will seek on the open market, it's largely expected that he will not be back in the Big Apple. Plus, the Knicks with have a high lottery pick in a point guard-heavy draft. When he does hit the open market, the Minnesota Timberwolves may be interested (thanks to Tom Thibodeau), as will teams with a need at the position like the Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks.Back to the NBA Newsfeed